Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Travelers Cuisine - Panache Fruit Salad with Honey Ancho Goat Milk Yogurt

This article was edited and updated 5-22-2013.  Since the summer vacation season is here, this article received a nice face lift!  

A healthy fruit salad with panache!
     When traveling, a meal that is made in a motel room or at a picnic table at a roadside park is often the best option.  In recent years, fast food joints have saturated small remote rural towns along highways.  Fast food corporations intentionally oversaturate small towns in an effort to drive small locally owned restaurants out of business.  Corporate investment capital enables this unchecked monopolization strategy.
     Fast food monopolization along major highways leaves travelers with far less healthy dining choices.  Fast food corporation monopolization strategies are designed to force the traveling public to dine on high saturated fat fast food.  There is only one factor that greedy fast food corporations overlooked.  The traveling public is smarter than what fast food corporations give them credit for.  Resistance is not futile!
     Healthy cuisine is essential for making a long distance drive across the country a success.  There is nothing to be gained by eating junk food during a 1,500 mile long drive.  A diet of high saturated fats and complex carbohydrates while driving will result in feeling too tired and wiped out to enjoy the experience once the destination is reached.
     Nutrition.  So many false nutritional claims are made in the media each day.  I am not a television actor that makes false nutrition related dietary claims.  I am not selling a product or a diet plan.  I happen to be a Le Cordon Bleu President's Scholastic Achievement Award winner who has a perfect straight A grade point average and I completed a restaurant operations associates degree level nutrition class program.  The nutrition class was an intense condensed study program and I am happy to share the information I learned with readers of this food site.
     When traveling by car on a long road trip, there are a few nutritional needs that must exceed the USDA minimum daily requirements.  Food that contains a high percentage of vitamins, minerals, fibrous long acting carbohydrates and low saturated fat proteins is the very best food to eat while driving long distances in a car.  Another nutritional key is to consume food that has a high degree of antioxidant properties.  When traveling, the body is constantly exposed to exhaust fumes, bacteria, pathogens and viral threats.  The choice of food eaten by person during a long distance drive can make a difference in the state of mental and physical health upon arrival.  
     What is the best food to eat when driving long distances, from a nutrition standpoint?  Fruit!  Berries of any kind have good antioxidant properties.  Fruit is loaded with vitamins and minerals.  Fruit rids the body of toxins while relieving fatigue and stress.  Fruit boosts immune system capabilities.  Fruit is the ultimate food to eat while driving long distances.
     Carambola is the featured fruit in this salad.  Carambola is also called star fruit.  Carambola may not be available at farm country fruit stands, but it is marketed seasonally in grocery stores.  When traveling, any fruit is a good thing, so choose fruits that you like.  Any fruit is good for making today's recipe.   Berries are a key antioxidant item in this recipe, so choose a nice variety.
     The yogurt sauce is made with goat milk yogurt and it is naturally fat free.  Goat milk yogurt has a sharp zesty flavor that is perfect with fruit.  Goat milk yogurt is sold as Greek Yogurt in grocery stores.  Ancho chile is dried ripe red chile poblano.  Ancho chile is almost as mild tasting as a common bell pepper.  Ancho chile has a very nice deep fruity raison and savory mild chile pepper flavor.  Honey adds a natural sweetness to the yogurt sauce.
     When traveling, stopping at a roadside farm stand or food market to buy some fruit, goat milk yogurt and salad ingredients is a far better option than settling for a junk food meal.  Designing a nice looking salad that tastes great, while being stuck in a motel in the middle of nowhere, can relieve travel related stress and the effort provides satisfaction.  Healthy nutritious food makes the difference in whether a traveler feels like an exhausted mule or a lively energetic person when the destination is reached.  
     Honey Ancho Goat Milk Yogurt:
     Place 4 ounces of plain goat milk yogurt (Greek Yogurt) in a small bowl.
     Add 1/2 teaspoon of ancho chile powder.
     Add 1 tablespoon of honey.
     Stir the ingredients together.
     Set the sauce aside for 10 minutes, so the flavors meld.
     Panache Fruit Salad with Honey Ancho Goat Milk Yogurt:
     Any fresh fruit can be used to make this salad.  Carambola is very refreshing, so it was my personal choice.  The key fruit item is berries, because they have strong antioxidant properties.
     Place a bed of red tipped leaf lettuce on a plate.
     Place a thin layer of alfalfa sprouts on the lettuce leaves.
     Cut a ripe carambola fruit into thin slices.
     Overlap the carambola slices around the border of the plate.
     Arrange a mound of these fruits on the plate so they look nice:
     - Strawberry halves
     - Blueberries
     - Raspberries
     - White grapes
     - Red grapes
     - Blackberries
     - Bite size pieces of watermelon
     - Bite size pieces of pineapple
     - Bite size pieces of honeydew melon
     - Bite size pieces of cantaloupe
     (When placing the fruits on the pate, try to expose one or two pieces of each different fruit, so they can be seen.)
     Drizzle the ancho honey yogurt sauce over the fruit.
     No garnish is necessary.
     The ancho honey yogurt creates an interesting warm flavor contrast when it is eaten with fruit.  The flavor combination is addictive!  It is very hard to stop eating this fruit salad once the first bite is taken.    
     This fruits salad entree for travelers will keep long distance driving fatigue to a minimum.  Yum!  ...  Shawna


  1. Nice to see. But in my area only have Black and green Grapes. How i get red and white grapes. Reply me Cookscape

    1. In response to Govind Mitheran:

      The names "Red grapes, Blue-Black Grapes and White Grapes" refer to a variety of grapes that are called "Table Grapes." Table Grapes are meant to be eaten fresh or as dried raisons and they are not usually used for wine production or making grape juice. Seedless varieties of Table Grapes are best for salads.

      Where to find White or Red Table Grapes in your area is a guessing game. Since you mentioned that edible green grapes are available, then you have access White Table Grapes. Edible green grape varieties are classified as White Table Grapes.

      Red Table Grapes and Green Table Grapes are usually grown locally in temperate or mild seasonal climates where the threat of an early hard frost in autumn is not a major threat.

      The table grapes in your area might be imported from a major table grape producing region. Some of the top table grape growing regions that export table grapes are: The Middle East, Australia, Germany, France, The Balkans, California, Texas, New York, China, Chile, Argentina and Peru.

      A good fresh produce market will take customer requests. I suggest making a request for Red Grape varieties and White Grape varieties at a local food market. Produce managers will order just about any fruit or vegetable if there are sales to be made. All Table Grape varieties are shipped worldwide and they are available year round.

      Table grapes can be easily be grown in a home garden or on a porch in a temperate climate. Table grapes do not have to come from old growth grape vines. We used to grow new growth vine grapes every summer in Pennsylvania and pick the grape bunches when they became ripe. Mormons grew table grapes at the Old Mormon Fort property here in Las Vegas, so table grape vines can even be grown in a hot arid desert climate.

      Here is a link that lists all table grape varieties: Wikipedia - Table Grapes -